The road to Fes

Day 7
Fes, Morocco

We were up before dawn this morning to catch our 7.5 hour train to Fes. It was a long but picturesque haul from Marrakech as we watched the arid, dry landscape give way to a more fertile, mountainous farmland. Feeling a bit adventurous upon arrival, we took a taxi to the edge of the Fes medina, disembarked and, shunning a guide, followed the treasure map I’d scribbled in my notebook that would hopefully bring us to our riad in the old historic quarter.

After walking the usual maze of Moroccan streets that we’ve now become familiar with, we arrived at Dar Seffarine. This is an amazing place, housed in a building more than 600 years old, that has gone through 2.5 years of extensive renovations. Much of the old tile work and carvings have been brought back to life and it almost feels like we should be royalty here. Our room is large and nicely furnished, overlooking the central courtyard. From it, you can hear the sounds of Fes, the crowing of roosters, the hammering of metal, the call to prayer — there is almost a rhythm to life here.

But it’s the view from Dar Seffarine’s roof deck that provides the most complete picture of Fes el-Bali, essentially a working medieval city with 9,400 streets and alleyways.

We’ll be enjoying a home cooked dinner from the roof in a little bit. Tomorrow, we’ll try to cover as many of those nearly 10,000 streets as we’re able.


  1. Wow! Marc, can you explain what you mean by Fes el-Bali being a working medieval city? Take pictures of the streets! I am loving this blog – and your adventures!

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